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Queen of the Fairies (as Leonie Flugrath)
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The Giant
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Short | Comedy | Musical

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May 1913 (USA)  »

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In a modern day interview, after she had seen the restoration of the film, Edison actress Viola Dana (nee Virginia Flugrath) identified the actress who played the Queen of the Fairies as her sister Shirley Mason who was also working for Edison at that time, under her real name, Leonie Flugrath. See more »

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Featured in Hollywood: End of an Era (1980) See more »

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Edna Flugrath as queen of the fairies...
15 November 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

... and it gets a 9/10 from me just for its novelty. It was one of Edison's experiments in synchronizing speech in motion pictures, and it turns out Edison far underestimated the difficulty of the task.

I got interested in this one watching the 13 part "Silent Hollywood" documentary with Edna's sister, Viola Dana, talking about this short, with just a small section of the short being shown. It is available for viewing in its entirety on youtube - at least today it is. Edison's sound system would not amplify the sound to the point it could be heard in a theatre, and projected at the wrong speed female voices come out quite deep.

It really has no narrative. It's just a 6 minute musical with the queen of the fairies calling forth characters from nursery rhymes to sing and dance. Old King Cole is particularly entertaining with his nimble dancing. There are just a couple of questions I have. Who was in charge of the art design? The queen of the fairies apparently lives in a very oddly decorated chimney, and dances in and out of the fireplace to cast her spells. The fireplace is decorated with what appears to be a human skull, and the skeletal remains of two dinosaur heads, one on each side. That's pretty scary stuff for children's' fare. Also, why does the queen of the fairies live in a chimney in the first place?


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